Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Showing posts with label UNESCO World Heritage Site. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UNESCO World Heritage Site. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Sarnath

Google Maps: Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Sarnath treasures some of the most vital symbols of Indian heritage and it was a pleasant surprise to witness them during the few hours we stayed there. Less than half hour from Varanasi and home to one of the largest buddhist establishments in the world, Sarnath is part of history textbooks. The highlight of our trip was the archeological museum which has as good a collection as I have seen across the world.

Stupa @ Sarnath

Friday, 22 December 2017

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Google Maps: Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya Lion Rock is not just a tourist attraction. History says it was seat of the most powerful king who ever ruled the island nation. Add to that the buddhist monastery in the caves of the gigantic monolith and a view to behold from the top. The result is an unmatchable structure that may very well have cake-walked into the Unesco World Heritage Site list. While the front view of Sigiriya is intimidating, the trek and the experience is equally exhilarating.

View from middle, Sigiriya Lion Rock

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Google Maps: Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
The ruins of Polonnaruwa are famous. The fact that an entire city dedicated to the worship of Lord Buddha in Sri Lanka was astonishing for us coming from India. It was this curiosity and the fame that drew us to the ruined city on the very first day of our stay in the central province. The one hour drive from Sigiriya was pleasant and scenic. We came across a massive Buddha statue beside a lake on the way which set the tone for the city.

Parakramaabahu Palace Complex, Polonnaruwa

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Kyoto

Google Maps: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Kyoto is beautiful. At the heart of Japan, nestled with temples, spotted with shrines and bifurcated by a river, the city is duly called the spiritual capital of Japan. We reached Kyoto through a super fast train from Osaka early morning and immediately started moving towards the Kinkaku-ji Temple. It is one of the showstoppers among the famous temples of Kyoto. Known for the gold-leaf structure and located at the centre of a placid lake, the temple was indeed teeming with selfie lovers as we arrived.

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Google Maps: Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
A grim reminder of human ineptitude to be the dominant species on this planet, the Atomic Bomb Dome of Hiroshima was nothing but graceful in its presence. We were in Hiroshima on a sunny Sunday afternoon without much fuss or spend. A distance of more than 200 miles was covered in a bullet train in less than two hours and then a loop bus took us to the Imperial Palace for free thanks to our JR Pass.

Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Miyajima, Japan

Google Maps: Miyajima, Japan
The ferry transported us to another world. The matter-of-factly Japan somehow vanished across half the mile of sea as we entered Miyajima. In front of us was a green island with lofty mountains that invited you for a trek. The foothills were not bad either - the gigantic orange coloured Grand Torii Gate being the crown jewel. We were told this was one of the top three most scenic spots in entire Japan. I believe it now.

Grand Torii, Miyajima


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Toshogu Shrine, Nikko

Google Maps: Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Toshogu Shrine, deep in the hinterlands of Japan, was a perfect beginning of our first trip abroad in seven years. A spiritual centre in a natural habitat and rich with cultural heritage to be listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the shrine near Nikko is a landmark in northern Japan. We started early and thanks to our JR Pass, we reach Nikko without much fuss in no time. A bus would take us to Toshogu from the train station.

Toshugu Shrine, Nikko

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)

Google Maps: Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India
  • The best time to visit is in October. However from August to November, migratory birds keep flocking the sanctuary.
  • Stay overnight in one of the nearby hotels and start as early as 5.30AM for best experience. By 7 it gets hot and little less pleasent.
  • Bicycles are available on first come first serve from the reception. It the best medium of transport. Battery driven vans are also available but they are so boring.

We reached Bharatpur, the host city to Keoladeo National Park (KNP), late in the evening. We had covered two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and had just brushed the third, Fatehpur Sikri, before settling at the edge of our fourth that day.

Inside KNP, Bharatpur

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Agra Fort

Google Maps: Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Visit before Taj Mahal as its bigger and takes time to complete a round. It is closer to the Express Highway as you enter Agra.
  • A weekday trip is recommended given the crowd on weekends. On Monday both Agra Fort and Taj are closed.
  • Guides are good to have given the expanse of Agra Fort although it sometimes get intrusive to have them.

Agra Fort is the automatic next destination to Taj Mahal, both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites and as rare as it is with heritage sites, they are only couple of miles from each other. Spread wide across the banks of Yamuna, the fort boasts of being home to five generation of Mughal Emperors.

Huge motes, Agra Fort

Friday, 14 August 2015

Rock Shelters, Bhimbetka

Google Maps: Bhimbetka rock shelters, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > Bhimbetka > Bhopal

  • Nestled in the deep forests, this place is a true jewel. Plan at least a half day excursion through the whole area. It takes time to cover and more time to appreciate.
  • The road is not in a good condition and there are not many road-side restaurants. Visit  after the monsoons if you like greenary. The month of August is ideal.
  • Read about the place before you go. You will appreciate the rich heritage more. It is one of the 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India for a reason.

We reached Bhimbetka at noon from Sanchi. A slight detour on way to Hoshangabad from Bhopal and nestled in the Vindhyas is this ancient home to humankind that most of us are unaware. I guess most of those including me realized the special position this place holds in world history is when it was a declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Domestication of animals, Bhimbetka

Stupas, Sanchi

Google Maps: Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Bhopal > Sanchi > Bhimbetka > Bhopal

Sanchi was as calm and serene as we had left it in our Class IX history book. While in Sanchi one realizes why a secluded place built on a hillock suits the purpose of meditation and learning. The place is as picturesque as possible with a panoramic view of the Vindhyas.

Gateway to Stupas, Sanchi

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Qutub Minar

Delhi boasts of hosting three of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites apart from a plethora of monuments and ruins of old. One of the three and probably the most visited is Qutub Minar. The entire complex is a tribute to pre-mughal architecture and attracts a wide array of visitors throughout the year.

Qutub Minar

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Khajuraho

Google Maps: Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Khajuraho can be planned as a weekend getaway from Delhi. Overnight trains at convenient time run but travel need to be planned at least a month given limited seats.
  • Temples should be visited early morning or in evening. Noon is hot unless its winter. Be ready for couple of miles walk around the complex.
  • Raneh Waterfalls and Pandav Cave are nearby attractions that one may cover. Hotels are aplenty and affordable. There is an airport also under construction.


Khajuraho happened to us so quickly that we were neither ready with appropriate duration nor with a camera fitting for the occasion. One fine morning we were just there. We reached this legendary temple city by train one morning. Hotels are in abundance near main temple complex. We settled in Ramada Khajuraho and freshened up quickly. Plan was to have a brunch near main temple and then start off.

Poses, Khajuraho

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hampi

Google Maps: Hampi, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > Chitradurga > HampiBangalore

Hampi offers such bizarre backgrounds in such quantity that it can easily be declared a photographer's haven.  From flowing river to ruined city,  from ancient temples to high hills it has everything a remarkable photoshoot demands.WereachedHyatt Hampi from Chitradurga by taking a diversion from Kudligi. This proved to be a big mistake as the 35 miles stretch can hardly be called a road. By the time we checked in we were good for nothing. Hungry and tired, we settled at the restaurant and ate a mouthful.

Stone Chariot @ Vitthala Temple Hampi

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Mahabalipuram

Google Maps: Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Trip: Bangalore > Tiruvannamalai > Pondicherry > Mahabalipuram > Kanchipuram > Bangalore

Mahabalipuram offers an interesting combination - archeological monuments beside a beach. Hence on a bright Saturday morning we were on  Bangalore - Kanyakumari highway. The road has one of the most picturesque settings in south India.

Carved pillars @ Five Rathas Temple

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ellora

Google Maps: Ellora, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

We started our trip to Ellora with a pint of beer. It was available in MTDC Restaurant right at the entrance of Ellora Cave Complex. We were little drowsy as we closed in on the main temple building. The concept of this structure broke some of our lethargy as the entire temple is carved out of 125000 cubic metre of one solid rock.

Elephants, Ellora Caves


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Ajanta Caves

Google Maps: Ajanta, Maharashtra, India
  • Setup your base at Aurangabad. There is enough for five days. Ajanta Caves are a day trip from here. The system of transport created is to cater huge crowd so it takes a while to reach.
  • Photography is allowed. During or after Monsoon, a waterfall also comes alive in the middle of this U shaped masterpiece.
  • Paintings are still in good shape. Overall the facility is well maintained. Trek the hill in front of the caves for a bird eye view. 


We sat on the engine of the tourist bus for a 100 miles. Then we waited for pollution free buses that connect the base of Ajanta with the cave complex. All the efforts found their return in one turn of view of the knoll shaped hills of Ajanta.

Panoramic View, Ajanta

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fatehpur Sikri

Trip: Delhi > Agra >  Fatehpur Sikri > Delhi

A trip to Agra is not complete without visiting the capital of Mughal Empire during Emperor Akbar's reign - Fatehpur Sikri  The drive to this small fort town is partly rough partly smooth.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Naples

Google Maps: Naples, Italy
Trip: Copenhagen > Venice > Naples > Copenhagen

On a magical morning I was walking through narrow alleys that went up and up somewhere near the centre of the city of Naples. A fort like structure was visible now and then at the top of this city and all I wanted was to be there. Although it was foggy, I should have anticipated what I was going to witness after passing through the station of Pompei earlier that morning.

The ancient city of Pompei@Naples